“I think a man needs only one thing in life: He just needs someone to love. If you can’t give him that, then give him something to hope for. If you can’t give him that, just give him something to do.” (Flight of the Phoenix)
Hope is the last bastion for those not already living in grace. Yet grace requires faith.
Hope and faith are intertwined – That last pillar that keeps a person standing; somewhat irrelevant until all else is lost. Necessary, because the point where all is truly lost is death. Hope and faith then preserving life; Faith leaving those left behind to pursue what comes after it. Hope does not tread past the grave.
But yet faith also dwells amongst the living, a blind, compelling thing. Pushing one past all frontiers of logic, suspended in a metaphysical stronghold, full of assurances. Faith is the ultimate paradox. Only the blind can truly see. Hope is its sister wife – a blood relation one too many times over. Hope, too, strains for that stronghold, seeks that assurance. But while faith is at once the journey and the destination, hope remains the weary traveller, set back by the burdens not yet encountered. Hope is not blind because it is aware of its shortcomings, it relies on these to exist. For if there were nothing that was beyond one’s reach and every achievement was palpable, hope would fade into the collective oblivion, a space reserved for minutiae and the long forgotten, Latin still teetering on that precipice.
Hope decries oblivion, it rests in the physical, it earns in the tangible and it is dogged in its pursuit to collect. What it wants, it can see, and if the thing does not yet exist, it can be created. Hope is an atomic structure waiting to be multiplied. It requires imagination within the borders of the frank but youthful. Faith does not bend to oblivion because it exists beyond it. It reigns supreme on every plain. It encapsulates all of our desires and our guilt, it directs them to the amorphous sorter of all things beyond our control. Humanity is one big ever spinning wheel; understanding in the brief glimpses of the whirring cogs that we have no say in the speed and constancy of our continuous movement. We have free will and we have the actions we choose but there is no halting destiny. Faith is perhaps the reason some can handle this when logic has gone as far as it can go, and is still found wanting. Hope is an acceptance with a desire for a different outcome. Faith is an acceptance and submission to the different outcome. One remains a fighter, one panders to whim.
Yet whim is by far the most compelling characteristic of humankind. Inconsistent that whim and faith should be considered side by side since faith put in humankind is seldom deserved, usually lost – blind as it insists it must remain. Faith must transcend the corporeal to become a spiritual seed; rely on the whims of things beyond our understanding, if indeed those things have whims. Hope, on the other hand, relies on the catching of whim’s fancy; sailing the breeze of impulse, simply aiming to catch the right one.
And of these two that remain so intertwined, humankind must always carry both. But the better to be held is hope. For we must first concern ourselves with the here and now, and the betterment of that lot. Only then, can we dive deeper and aspire to those beyond.